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International Reaction
Special> Aftermath of the Quake> International Reaction
UPDATED: May 21, 2008  
More Foreign Leaders Mourn China Quake Victims

More foreign governments and leaders on Tuesday expressed their condolences for the victims of the deadly earthquake that hit southwest China's Sichuan province last week.

U.S. President George W. Bush visited the Chinese embassy in Washington on Tuesday to mourn the victims of the devastating earthquake and convey his condolences to the Chinese people.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown observed one minute's mourning for the quake victims at the Chinese embassy in London on Tuesday morning.

On behalf of the British people, Brown sent his condolences to the Chinese people and gave his appreciation to Chinese President Hu Jintao, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and the Chinese people for their great efforts in the rescue work.

In Bucharest, Romanian President Traian Basescu visited the Chinese embassy on Tuesday, saying "I am sorry for the great losses of lives and materials. I believe the Chinese people will overcome the difficulties."

At the Chinese embassy in Tirane, Albanian Prime Minister Sali Beirisha expressed his mourning to the victims of the 7.9-magnitude earthquake.

"With a saddened heart, I express my sympathy, solidarity and the most sincere condolences to the family members of the victims and the entire Chinese people," Berisha wrote in a condolence book at the Chinese embassy.

Cyprus President Demetris Christofias also expressed his grief and support to the people of China on Tuesday.

"I am here today to express sincere feelings of deep sorrow, love and solidarity to a people who always support Cyprus," he told reporters at the Chinese embassy in Nicosia.

Croatian President Stjepan Mesic visited the Chinese embassy in Zagreb and expressed his belief that the Chinese people would overcome the tragedy and the Beijing Olympic Games would not be affected by the earthquake.

Laos' Deputy Prime Minister Somsavat Lengsavad mourned for the victims and signed the book of condolences at the Chinese embassy.

In Moscow, Russian legislators, foreign diplomats in Russia, and Chinese people in Russia on Tuesday went to the Chinese embassy to express their condolences for the victims.

"Now, we feel the same with our Chinese brothers, with the deepest sorrow for the casualties caused by the quake," Russia's Communist Party chief Gennady Zyuganov wrote in a condolence message.

Deputy speaker of the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, Valentin Alexandrovich Kuptsov, as well as dozens of foreign diplomats expressed their respect for the victims at the embassy.

Also on Tuesday, Portuguese Communist Party leader Jeronimo de sousa visited the Chinese embassy and expressed his support to the Chinese people and the Chinese Communist Party.

In Vienna, Franz Baumann, Deputy Executive Director-General of United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV), visited China's Permanent Mission to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Vienna, mourning the earthquake victims.

He expressed his appreciation of the "quick and efficient" response by the Chinese government during this enormous natural disaster, saying "the big family, the United Nations, is always with you people."

On Monday, the U.S. Senate adopted a resolution to mourn the victims of the devastating earthquake and convey its condolences and support to the Chinese people.

The resolution, jointly submitted by Barbara Boxer, Democratic senator for California, and Lisa Murkowski, Republican senator for Alaska, called on President George W. Bush to respond to any requests for humanitarian assistance made by the Chinese government.

Other foreign leaders and senior officials that visited Chinese embassies and sent condolences to the quake victims and their families on Tuesday include:

-- Szili Katalin, Speaker of the National Assembly of Hungary;

-- Afghanistan Vice President Mohammad Karim Khalili;

-- President of the Political Office of the Palestinian Liberation Organization Farouk Kaddoumi;

-- Thailand's Foreign Minister Noppadon Pattama;

-- Moroccan Minister Delegate of Foreign affairs and Cooperation Fassi Fihri;

-- Cote d'Ivoire's Senator Mamadou Koulibaly;

-- Somalian Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein;

-- Kenyan Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula;

-- Malaysian Foreign Minister Rais Yatim;

-- Kumbirayi M. Kangai, member of the Political Bureau of Zimbabwe's ruling party African National Union-Patriotic Front and Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the party;

-- Democratic Republic of Congo's Assembly President Vital Kamerhe; and

-- Polish deputy foreign minister Witold Wascykowski.

The 7.9-magnitude quake had claimed 40,075 lives as of 6 p.m. Beijing time (1000 GMT) Tuesday.

Another 247,645 people were injured and 32,361 people were still missing as a result of the quake, the worst natural disaster in the country in three decades, that shook southwestern Sichuan province on May 12.

(Xinhua News Agency May 20, 2008)

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